Bankruptcy Highlights


New Local Rules Adopted–1009-1 and 2016

Local Rule 1009-1 (Signatures)

The following changes include modifications to Local Rules and ECF Administrative Procedures in the Western District of Missouri Bankruptcy Court. The reasons for these changes are as follows:

  1. To ensure that debtors have consented to amendments to bankruptcy documents.
       
    All schedules, statements or lists not filed with the petition and all amendments to schedules, statements or lists must now contain a debtor verification with an image of the original document signed by the debtor or an image with the debtor’s signature captured electronically at the time of document generation. This verification shall be filed as a separate document with the court.
       
  2. To remove burdensome document retention requirements if certain procedures are used.
       
    Attorneys may file any documents with an image of the original document signed by the debtor or party filer, or an image with the debtor’s or party filer’s signature captured electronically at the time of document generation subject to the specific local rule requirement to file verifications of amended schedules, statements or lists as separate documents. If the attorney adopts this procedure, the attorney is exempt from the court’s two-year document retention requirement. For purposes of the initial petition, schedules and statements, the filing of the Declaration re: Electronic Filing in accordance with local rules satisfies the signature requirement and exempts the filer from the retention requirement.
     
  3. To permit technology to electronically capture signatures.
       
    Signatures on filed documents may now be captured electronically and not exist in a “hard copy” state.
     

This general order shall apply to all affected filings filed on or after Jan. 1, 2012.

To view a copy of the general order, go to http://www.mow.uscourts.gov/bankruptcy/rules/2011_go_debtor_sign.pdf.

Local Rule 2016 (Chapter 13 Attorney Fees)

The Western District of Missouri Bankruptcy Court has adopted a new general order amending Local Rule 2016 related to Chapter 13 attorney fees.  This general order is effective for all applicable filings filed on or after Dec. 1, 2011.

To view a copy of the general order in regular and redline format, go to http://www.mow.uscourts.gov/bankruptcy/rules/2011_go_post_conf_fees.pdf.



Amendment to Local Rule 3091-1

Local Rule 3091-1 (Disbursement of Insurance Proceeds)

The Bankruptcy Court has adopted a general order amending Local Rule 3091-1 to clarify procedures related to disbursement of insurance proceeds. A copy of the general order can be found on the court’s website at http://www.mow.uscourts.gov/bankruptcy/rules/lr_3091-1.pdf.



Federal Bankruptcy Rule Amendment

3002.1 (Notice of Change to Mortgage Payment)

These changes provide a process for a Chapter 13 debtor to cure a default and maintain payment on a home mortgage during the plan and applies to claims that are (1) secured by a security interest in the debtor’s principal residence and (2) provided for under 1322(b)(5) of the code in the debtor’s plan.  These changes took effect Dec. 1, 2011. 

To view a full copy of the rule, visit http://www.mow.uscourts.gov/bankruptcy/cm/v42/notice_of_mortgage_payment_change_lr3002.pdf



New Features in CM/ECF star

The Western District of Missouri Bankruptcy Court upgraded the CM/ECF database to Version 4.2 in late November.  Along with the password enhancements mentioned in previous alerts, there are three other new features available:  (1) expanded case information when using the “query” feature, (2) improved adversary filing as plaintiff attorneys will now be added to the adversary case automatically, and (3) an option for attorneys to have multiple “filing agents” so that more than one attorney “agent” can be filing at one time.  

For more information on these enhancements, visit the court’s website at http://www.mow.uscourts.gov/bankruptcy/cm/v42_features.html.

What Is a Filing Agent?

Have you or a member of your staff ever been “bumped out” of CM/ECF because another staff member was logged on with the same account at the same time?  A new feature allows attorneys to have multiple staff members logged into CM/ECF at the same time.  These staff members are referred to as “filing agents.”  Filing agents can also represent multiple attorneys within the firm.  As the attorney, you can log on to CM/ECF and officially designate authorized filing agents.  For detailed information about creating filing agents in your firm, visit the court’s website at http://www.mow.uscourts.gov/bankruptcy/cm/v42/creating_a_filing_agent.pdf.



Automated Case Information Phone Number Change star

The automated Voice Case Information System (VCIS) moved to an updated system accessed at new telephone number beginning Jan. 4, 2012.  The updated VCIS system provides the same information and is more stable, increasing system availability.  Searches can be performed by case number, debtor name, and social security number.  Searches in the new system are voice activated or the telephone key pad may be used.

Because the VCIS system supports bankruptcy courts throughout the country, first speak “Missouri Western” when accessing the system.  Next, select from the search options: case number, case name, and social security number followed by the required information.

The new toll-free number is:
866-222-8029

If you experience any difficulty, please contact us at 816-512-1800.


 
Application of the Privacy Act

The recent CM/ECF upgrade to Version 4.2 included a change that continues to implement the Judicial Conference Privacy Policy.  The policy was enacted for all cases filed on or after Dec. 1, 2003 and has been extended to all cases filed prior to that time that have been closed more than a year. 

Version 4.2 implements that policy by restricting electronic document access to these old cases.  The full docket sheet is still available (with a redacted SSN), but when a PACER user (attorney/creditor/other public user) tries to access a document, a message is displayed that states: “This document is restricted and not available for viewing.”  What this means is that if someone with PACER access needs a copy of a document from that case file, the court will need to provide it. If a case is filed before Dec. 1, 2003, is closed more than a year and is then subsequently reopened, the documents then become available for viewing.



2012 Docket Dates

Visit the court’s website to view 2012 docket dates for all divisions.  Dates and times are subject to change with the most current information available at http://www.mow.uscourts.gov/bankruptcy/2012_docket_dates.pdf



Hands-on CM/ECF Training Offered

Training sessions on CM/ECF are offered for attorneys and legal professionals at the courthouse in Kansas City. A session typically lasts approximately two hours. Several filings are made step-by-step and the filing process is covered in detail. Portable Document Format (PDF) is also discussed, and a review of CM/ECF's “report” and “query” features are provided. To arrange for an on-site demonstration or to attend a training session, contact the Bankruptcy Court at 816-512-1800.

Upcoming Training Dates

  • Tuesday, Jan. 10
  • Tuesday, March 6 
  • Tuesday, May 8
  • Tuesday, Feb. 7
  • Tuesday, April 10 
  • Tuesday, June 5

To learn more and access training materials, visit: http://www.mow.uscourts.gov/bankruptcy/ecf_training.html.

 

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